Editor's Note:
The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ indices both dipped toward their simple 50-dma. Will this area hold as support? Right now the short-term trend is lower and our bearish plays are starting to perform well.

S and SIX were both stopped out.

FSLR and HMIN were both triggered.

Current Portfolio:


BULLISH Play Updates

ACI Worldwide, Inc. - ACIW - close: 44.62 change: -1.11

Stop Loss: 43.75
Target(s): 49.00
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.3%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: The market is down four days in a row. ACIW has started to see some profit taking after its big run up off its early June lows. Shares are testing short-term support near $44.00 and the 10-dma today. If there is any further weakness here ACIW will likely hit our stop loss at $43.75.

current Position: Long ACIW stock @ $44.05

07/03/12 new stop loss @ 43.75
06/29/12 triggered @ 44.05

Entry on June 29 at $44.05
Earnings Date 07/26/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 318 thousand
Listed on June 27, 2011


Extra Space Storage - EXR - close: 30.77 change: -0.34

Stop Loss: 29.99
Target(s): 33.50
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.2%
Time Frame: exit prior to the late July earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: EXR completely reversed yesterday's gain and more. I would expect a dip toward $30.50 or the simple 10-dma near $30.29. Wait for that dip or a bounce off these levels before initiating new positions.

Our target is $33.50 but we'll plan to exit prior to the late July earnings report.

Suggested Position: Long EXR stock @ $31.15

07/09/12 triggered @ 31.15

Entry on July 09 at $31.15
Earnings Date 07/26/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.5 million
Listed on July 07, 2011


Threshold Pharmaceuticals - THLD - close: 8.02 change: -0.13

Stop Loss: 7.49
Target(s): 9.75
Current Gain/Loss: - 1.2%
Time Frame: exit prior to the very late July /early August earnings
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: Warning! THLD seems to be having some trouble here holding its gains above the $8 level. Yesterday the rally faltered. Today THLD has produced a bearish engulfing candlestick reversal pattern. More conservative traders will want to seriously consider raising their stop loss toward the 10-dma near $7.72. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

Earlier Comments:
There is a good chance THLD might see a short squeeze. The most recent data listed short interest at 18% of the 40.7 million-share float. Biotechs can be volatile stocks so readers may want to limit their position size to reduce risk. The 2012 high near $9.00 could be resistance but we're aiming for $9.75 (although we'll exit prior to the late July/early August earnings report).

Suggested Position: Long THLD stock @ $8.25

- or -

Long Aug $7.50 call (THLD1218H7.5) Entry $1.20

07/10/12 produced a bearish reversal candlestick. readers may want to raise their stop loss.
07/09/12 triggered @ 8.25

Entry on July 09 at $ 8.25
Earnings Date 07/30/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.6 million
Listed on July 07, 2011


VeriSign, Inc. - VRSN - close: 43.08 change: -0.35

Stop Loss: 43.40
Target(s): 49.00
Current Gain/Loss: unopened
Time Frame: exit prior to the late July earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: VRSN continues to struggle. Having the market down four days in a row doesn't help. The rally failed at short-term resistance near $44.00 this morning. We'll give VRSN one more day to show some strength or we'll likely drop it as a candidate. Right now the plan is to use a trigger at $44.35 to open bullish positions.

Trigger to open bullish positions @ $44.35 (stop 43.40)

Suggested Position: buy VRSN stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the Aug $45 call (VRSN1218H45)

07/07/12 new entry point strategy: trigger @ 44.35, stop 43.40
07/05/12 trade did not open. No new trades until Monday. Look for a new entry strategy this weekend.

Entry on July xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/26/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 2.0 million
Listed on July 03, 2011


Ventas, Inc. - VTR - close: 62.93 change: -0.97

Stop Loss: 62.45
Target(s): 64.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 5.4%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: Readers may want to give up and abandon ship here. Today's move in VTR looks like a one-day bearish reversal pattern. The stock did stall at technical support at the 10-dma but if there is any follow through lower tomorrow we'll probably see VTR hit our stop loss at $62.45. I am not suggesting new positions.

current Position: Long VTR stock @ $59.71

07/03/12 new stop loss @ 62.45
06/30/12 new stop loss @ 60.20
06/23/12 triggered on the gap down at $59.71
06/18/12 Entry point conditions were not met this morning.
Adjust strategy to buy a dip at $60.00.

Entry on June 25 at $59.71
Earnings Date 08/02/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million
Listed on June 16, 2011


BEARISH Play Updates

Aetna Inc. - AET - close: 37.69 change: -0.18

Stop Loss: 39.55
Target(s): 35.10
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.0%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: AET merely drifted lower and settled with a -0.4% loss. That failed to keep up with the S&P 500's -0.8% decline. I am not suggesting new positions at this time.

FYI: The Point & Figure chart for AET is bearish with a $29 target.

current Position: short AET stock @ $38.45

- or -

Long Aug $38 PUT (AET1218T38) Entry $1.65

07/03/12 new stop loss @ 39.55
07/03/12 triggered @ 38.45

Entry on July 03 at $38.45
Earnings Date 07/31/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 6.0 million
Listed on June 30, 2011


First Solar Inc. - FSLR - close: 14.18 change: -0.37

Stop Loss: 15.51
Target(s): 12.00, 10.50
Current Gain/Loss: +1.5%
Time Frame: 4 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: Our FSLR trade is finally open. Shares have broken down under short-term support near $14.50 and hit our trigger to launch positions at $14.40. I would still consider new positions now at current levels.

Our first target is $12.00. Our longer-term, more aggressive target is $10.50.

Trigger @ 14.40

Suggested Position: short FSLR stock @ (trigger)

- or -

buy the Aug $14 PUT (FSLR1218T14) Entry $1.45

07/10/12 triggered @ 14.40

Entry on July 10 at $14.40
Earnings Date 08/02/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 7.3 million
Listed on June 30, 2011


Groupon, Inc. - GRPN - close: 8.31 change: -0.48

Stop Loss: 9.55
Target(s): 6.25
Current Gain/Loss: + 1.1%
Time Frame: exit prior to the early August earnings report
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: Yesterday's +4% bounce in GRPN was reversed with today's -5.4% decline. The rally attempt this morning couldn't get past the $9.00 level. Shares closed at new lows. I would consider new positions now at current levels.

You may want to limit your risk by trading the put options instead.

*Small Positions*

current Position: short GRPN stock @ $8.40

- or -

Long Aug $8.00 PUT (GRPN1218T8) Entry $0.80

Entry on July 09 at $8.40
Earnings Date 08/08/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 8.1 million
Listed on July 07, 2011


Home Inns & Hotels Management - HMIN - close: 18.88 change: -0.97

Stop Loss: 21.05
Target(s): 18.00 & 15.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 3.7%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: Our new HMIN trade is off to a good start. Shares confirmed the breakdown under $20 with a -4.8% plunge. Our trigger to open positions was hit at $19.60. Readers may want to already start inching their stop loss lower. Our first target is $18.00. Our second target is $15.50.

Earlier Comments:
Readers may want to keep their position size small or use the options to limit their risk. The most recent data listed short interest at 17% of the 24.2 million share float.

Suggested Position: short HMIN stock @ $19.60

- or -

Long Aug $20 PUT (HMIN1218T20) Entry $1.70

07/10/12 triggered @ 19.60

Entry on July 10 at $19.60
Earnings Date 08/09/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 284 thousand
Listed on July 09, 2011


Riverbed Tech. - RVBD - close: 13.83 change: -0.57

Stop Loss: 15.51
Target(s): 12.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 4.6%
Time Frame: 3 to 6 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: RVBD is also off to a strong start. Shares opened at $14.50 and then fell to a -3.9% decline for the day. More conservative traders may want to start inching down their stops. Our target is $12.50 but more aggressive traders may want to aim lower.

current Position: short RVBD stock @ $14.50

- or -

Long Aug $14 PUT (RVBD1218T14) Entry $1.16

Entry on July xx at $ xx.xx
Earnings Date 07/24/12 (confirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 3.4 million
Listed on July 09, 2011


CLOSED BULLISH PLAYS

Sprint-Nextel Corp. - S - close: 3.21 change: -0.08

Stop Loss: 3.18
Target(s): 3.70
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.6%
Time Frame: 6 to 9 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: We have been worried about Sprint ever since last Thursday's big drop. Shares have spent the last couple of days hovering above support near $3.20 but that level broke today. S hit our stop loss at $3.18.

closed position: Long S stock @ $3.13 exit $3.18 (+1.6%)

07/10/12 stopped out at $3.18
07/03/12 new stop loss @ 3.18

chart:

Entry on June 20 at $ 3.13
Earnings Date 07/26/12 (unconfirmed)
Average Daily Volume = 53 million
Listed on June 19, 2011


Six Flags Entertainment - SIX - close: 53.14 change: -0.71

Stop Loss: 53.25
Target(s): 56.50
Current Gain/Loss: + 2.3%
Time Frame: 6 to 8 weeks
New Positions: see below

Comments:
07/10/12 update: Shares of SIX are also seeing some profit taking. The stock broke down under its 10-dma today and hit our stop loss at $53.25. The larger trend for SIX remains bullish but I would wait for a dip and bounce in the $52-50 zone before considering new positions again.

closed Position: Long SIX stock @ $52.05 exit $53.25 (+2.3%)

07/10/12 stopped out at $53.25
07/03/12 new stop loss @ 53.25
06/30/12 new stop loss @ 51.75
06/26/12 triggered @ 52.05

chart:

Entry on June 26 at $52.05
Earnings Date 07/24/12 (before the opening bell)
Average Daily Volume = 512 thousand
Listed on June 25, 2011